Companies for sale

Companies for sale

TIME WARNER INC.

In an attempt to pay down its sizeable debt load, media entertainment mammoth Time Warner Inc. plans to monetize its 14% stake in Hasbro Inc., the Paucket R.I.-based toy marketer and also sell 10-year notes. Time Warner plans to sell 12.1 million Preferred Exchangeable Redemption Cumulative Securities, known as PERCS, tied to Hasbro’s holdings. The two deals are expected to fetch about $900 million; $400 million from the Hasbro deal and another $500 is expected from the planned note sale which would be the company’s first public securities offering since 1993. Ever since its 1990 merger that combined Warner Communications Inc. and Time Inc, Time Warner stock has been sluggish. The company’s huge debt load is partly to blame. In February, the company said it aimed to reduce its $15 billion debt by $2 billion to $3 billion by mid-1996. While it has raised about $13 billion with agreements to sell assets such as Six Flags theme parks and holdings in retailer QVC Inc, it has been unsuccessful in unloading its nearly 20% holding in Turner Broadcast-ing System. “Hasbro is one of the leaders of the toy business and will continue to be a valued partner and licensee of Warner Bros.’ properties in several areas, including toys based on Warner Bros.’ ‘Batman Forever,” said Time Warner chairman and CEO, Gerald Levin adding, the company’s move “to monetize our stake in the company is consistent with Time Warner’s plan to sell non-core assets to reduce debt announced earlier this year.” For additional info contact: Gerald A. Levin, 75 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY, 10019; PH: 212-484-8000.

UNITED BISCUITS HOLDINGS PLC

United Biscuits Holdings PLC has decided to sell its faltering Keebler salty-snacks unit in the U.S. in order to concentrate on its core cookies and crackers brands. The division with $192 million in sales (representing 12% of Keebler’s overall sales) and has only 3% of the market in contrast to PepsiCo Inc.’s FritoLay with 40% of the market. A buyer has not yet been identified and the company has employed investment banker Morgan Stanley to market the snack unit with assets of $130 million. The proposed sale of the salty-snacks unit is the most recent in a series of sweeping changes initiated by new Keebler Chief Brian Chadbourne. These include a L72 million reorganization program along with updating the sales and distribution system.

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After stretching his capital to revitalize this 15-year-old fitness center in Oklahoma, the owner is financially overextended. The facility offers free weights and Nautilus equipment, aerobics, a sauna, a whirlpool, and indoor swimming. There is no other fitness center within 20 miles and some 500 clients currently pay $114 to $336 for 3-6-12 month-contracts. The ideal buyers? A couple of health enthusiasts with the stamina to handle physical labor and extended hours–nearly 80 a week. The building and real estate are worth $100,000; equipment, fixtures and furnishings are worth $85,000; customer contracts have a value of $20,000. For additional information contact: Affiliated Business Consultants, 719-540-2200.

Copyright Quality Services Company Jul 3, 1995

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